The Debate On Marijuana Continues

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about the impact of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. There is still not a clear picture of the effect of the legislation.

The article lists some of the negative impact:

Along with five years of legal weed, Colorado has also seen its homeless population swell to a level that is among the highest in America. The Gazette editorial board sees a link between people living on the street and the availability of free weed because homeless shelter directors said substance abusers move to Colorado because it’s easier to score a bag of weed.

More kids than ever are getting high inside Colorado’s K-12 schools, the Gazette also reported. Drug violations reported by the state’s public schools increased 45 percent since the legalization of pot, according to a 2016 Rocky Mountain PBS investigation.

The article further reports:

On top of all of that, something stinks in Colorado Springs.

“Visitors to Colorado remark about a new agricultural smell, the wafting odor of pot as they drive near warehouse grow operations along Denver freeways,” the Gazette editorial read.

“Residential neighborhoods throughout Colorado Springs reek of marijuana, as producers fill rental homes with plants,” the Gazette added.

The article states that there have been some problems with overdoses:

Dr. Daniel Vigil of the Marijuana Health Monitoring and Research Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health said those “bumps in the road” included “rare deaths.”

The marijuana fatalities included “one following overconsumption, paranoia and falling off a balcony,” Vigil told Insider Louisville. Another death involved “unintentional ingestion of a large dose of THC in a candy bar.”

Vigil said new regulations and policies are needed to prevent marijuana overdoses.

I have no problem with marijuana being available in pill form for medical purposes. I do, however, question the wisdom of legalizing another substance that may interfere with the ability of people to function. Marijuana may not be addictive, but I clearly remember a teenager I knew years ago who began smoking in his teens and thoroughly changed his life for the worse because of it. I suspect his story might not be all that unusual.

Marijuana Is Not Really Harmless

The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article today about the long-term impact of consistently smoking marijuana.

The article reports:

International research has revealed that the more cannabis you smoke, the more likely you are to be lower paid and have relationship difficulties.

The study followed children from birth up to the age of 38 and found people who smoked cannabis four or more days a week over many years ended up in a lower social class than their parents.

It also found that regular and persistent users ended up with lower-paying, less skilled and less prestigious jobs than those who were not regular cannabis smokers.

Financial, work-related and relationship difficulties were further experienced by those taking the drug, which worsened as the number of years of regular cannabis use progressed.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers led by Magdalena Cerda at the University of California and Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt at Duke University, appeared in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.

‘Our research does not support arguments for or against cannabis legalization,’ said Cerda. ‘But it does show that cannabis was not safe for the long-term users tracked in our study.

One of the things that amazes me is the move to legalize marijuana in America while stigmatizing smoking tobacco. Both are damaging to the lungs, both ingest various toxins into the body, but smoking tobacco does not generally impact your social or financial success. Marijuana is not a harmless drug, and it is not a good idea to legalize the use of recreational marijuana until there is more study of its long-term effects. It is also very naive to believe that saying that recreational marijuana, legal in some states for people over twenty-one, will not be used by those under twenty-one. Teenagers using marijuana on a regular basis will not be of benefit to our society.

An Interesting Turn Of Events

This seems trivial, but maybe it’s not. MyWay News is reporting today that Paul McCartney is giving up smoking pot.

The article reports:

The former Beatle told the Daily Mirror he doesn’t want to set a bad example for his children and grandchildren by using marijuana. He said Saturday his decision is “a parent thing.”

He says “the last time I smoked was a long time ago.”

It is interesting to me that someone who smoked pot for a long time does not want his children and grandchildren smoking it. It’s a very interesting statement for him to make. Paul McCartney’s actions are in stark contrast to the move in America to legalize marijuana. I wonder if this is the real answer to America’s drug problem–just convince the grown-ups to act like grown-ups.

 

The ‘Unknown Motive’ In Ferguson

In an attempt to explain recent events in Ferguson, some of the major media sources (CNN and some of the networks) have referred to an ‘unknown motive’ on the part of Michael Brown. Yesterday World Net Daily posted an article that might provide the answer to what the ‘unknown motive’ was.

The article reports:

Reporting from the scene, Lemon (CNN’s Don Lemon) said, “Maybe a minute, two minutes ago we heard a gunshot and watched people scattering. And we’re watching people on the roofs of cars, on the tops of cars and … Obviously there’s a smell of marijuana here as well.”

“Lemon’s comments sparked fierce backlash on social media,” reported Toyin Owoseje of the International Business Times. She said “many members of the online community” accused him of “adding fire to the flames and promoting his own agenda.”

I am not saying that marijuana is to blame for the rioting–I am saying that marijuana impairs judgment and that people under the influence of the drug might do things that they might not do otherwise.

The article also points out something that I have not heard elsewhere:

Rathbone points out that Kevin Torres, a reporter for KUSA in Colorado, where marijuana is legalized, has done a balanced story on the issue, noting that researchers from Harvard and Northwestern University recently found “younger marijuana users are more likely to have learning and mental health problems.” He cited an article from the New England Journal of Medicine showing high THC use being linked to paranoia and psychosis.

Michael Brown was not only high on THC but was apparently preparing to smoke more dope when Officer Wilson caught him walking down the center of a street and asked him to move to the sidewalk. The swisher sweet cigars Brown had stolen from the convenience store are notorious for being used to make marijuana “blunts.”  (emphasis mine)

The media has attempted to paint Michael Brown as an angelic gentle giant. Clearly, that is not the case. Michael Brown was obviously as flawed an individual as the rest of us. His death was unfortunate, but was also the result of choices that he made. If you take the marijuana out of the equation, you have no theft and probably no reason to attack a policeman. Marijuana may be harmless at times, but obviously this time it was fatal.

An Interesting Development For The Political Left In America

The political left in America loves the United Nations. When the U.N. condemns Israel and supports countries that routinely practice persecution of non-Muslim religions, the political left in America doesn’t seem to notice. When the U.N. creates gun treaties that will take away Americans’ Second Amendment rights, the political left doesn’t worry about American sovereignty. Well, the question of American sovereignty is about to impact some of the political left.

Reuters posted a story yesterday reporting that Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has told reporters that moves by some U.S. states to legalize marijuana are not in line with international drugs conventions.

The article reports:

“I don’t see how (the new laws) can be compatible with existing conventions,” Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told reporters.

Asked whether there was anything the UNODC could do about it, Fedotov said he would raise the problem next week with the U.S. State Department and other U.N. agencies.

I have stated before that I do not support the legalization of marijuana. However, I do support American sovereignty and states’ rights. Under the U.S. Constitution, the states have all authority not enumerated as federal authority (Tenth Amendment). I believe that according to the U.S. Constitution, the states are within their rights to legalize marijuana. Has America given the U.N. sovereignty over our states?

The article concludes:

On the international level, Uruguay‘s parliament in late 2013 approved a bill to legalize and regulate the production and sale of marijuana — the first country to do so.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has said Uruguay’s new bill contravened the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which it says requires states to limit the use of cannabis to medical and scientific purposes, due to its dependence-producing potential. The Vienna-based INCB monitors compliance with this and two other drug control treaties.

This could get interesting.

 

 

It May Be Legal, But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Good

On Friday, Bloomberg News reported a new venture by Cubic Designs, Inc., a division of Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. I don’t have a problem with people making a profit, but even when something is legal, I think you need to look at the consequences of your actions. Cubic Designs, Inc. makes platforms for maximizing usable floor space in warehouses. The company sent fliers to about 1,000 marijuana growers, offering to help the pot growers expand the number of plants they grow.

I would love to see people growing food indoors using this technology, not growing something that may be detrimental to our society. I understand that marijuana is a ‘money’ crop, but so was tobacco. I think that as Americans begin to see the impact of legal marijuana in the states where it has been legalized, we may have second thoughts about the wisdom of making marijuana legal. Meanwhile, we need businessmen who have a moral compass guiding their actions.

 

 

How Does This Help Anyone?

On Friday the Huffington Post reported that starting next summer, Berkeley, California, residents with incomes below $32,000 per year will be able to fill their prescriptions for medical marijuana at no cost.

I am not opposed to medical marijuana. I am opposed to the fact that it is over-prescribed in places where it is legal. If you pick up a Sunday paper in California, you will find multiple pages of advertisements for doctors who prescribe medical marijuana for headaches, flat feet, stress, etc. Historically, when medical marijuana is legalized in a state, the results are not significantly different from simple legalization of marijuana.

The article reports:

Under a law passed unanimously by the city council, dispensaries must set aside 2 percent of their pot for distribution to the poor.

Not everyone is on board with the plan.

“It’s ludicrous, over-the-top madness,” Bishop Ron Allen, head of the International Faith Based Coalition, told Fox News. “Why would Berkeley City Council want to keep their poverty-stricken under-served high, in poverty and lethargic?”

A website called drugfreeworld lists the effects of marijuana:

SHORT-TERM EFFECTS

  • Sensory distortion
  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Poor coordination of movement
  • Lowered reaction time
  • After an initial “up,” the user feels sleepy or depressed
  • Increased heartbeat (and risk of heart attack)

LONG-term effects of marijuana

  • Reduced resistance to common illnesses (colds, bronchitis, etc.)
  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Growth disorders
  • Increase of abnormally structured cells in the body
  • Reduction of male sex hormones
  • Rapid destruction of lung fibers and lesions (injuries) to the brain could be permanent
  • Reduced sexual capacity
  • Study difficulties: reduced ability to learn and retain information
  • Apathy, drowsiness, lack of motivation
  • Personality and mood changes
  • Inability to understand things clearly

I have never used marijuana, so I cannot personally verify this information; however, as a parent, I have known teenagers who have used the drug. My personal experience with one particular teenager was that heavy marijuana use in high school totally ruined his ambition and his hope for achieving the things he was capable of achieving. I believe that marijuana has a negative impact on ambition and drive for success. Someone needs to explain to me how giving people living in poverty free access to marijuana is actually going to help anyone.